Knowledge Management 2016
Special talk on ‘Soft skills: Don’t have to be so hard'
A fascinating talk by Professor S Armstrong was held on Tuesday 4th April 2017 from 13:30-15:00 at Bangna campus, Assumption University
Professor S Armstrong, Head of the Department of English from the University of Madras, India gave a comparable talk on hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are examples of language proficiency and grade point average on the academic transcript. Whereas soft skills are focused more on communication skills and teamwork management. He emphasizes that both of these skills are not inherited but it is something which we have to gain through our own practices and experiences. The six concepts in soft skills that he focused on were the PADMAN Plan.
Professor S Armstrong believed that if students fully understood what soft skills are then it will ameliorate their communication skills when they apply for jobs in the near future.
After attending this special talk, I have decided to include his concept into my lesson in the ‘Conducting an Interview’. Originally my topic was about wearing the right clothes for jobs interviews, different types of interviews and interview structures and now including the concept of hard skills and soft skills.
A majority of my students now realized that they have been focusing too much on their hard skills and need to switch their attention to their soft skills. I told my students that ‘You don’t have to be the smartest student or excel in everything that you do but what you need to have is good teamwork and communicationskills.’ These factor matters more when you go out to face the challenges in the real world.
Digital Tools on Teaching and Learning
Digital and technology contribute to teaching and learning for undergraduate students at Assumption University more significantly than the traditional style of teaching and learning. Digital and technology in teaching and learning attract students’ attention by providing contents, exercises, handout, assessment and educational games in digital form.
As an international university, the global perception is one of many factors that AU concern to transform themselves into a modern university, therefore, the way teaching materials and activities passed to all students should help to build innovation on teaching and learning for the university. Digitals and technologies in teaching and learning play an extraordinary role in educating and empowering teachers and students to become more knowledgeable, and awareness of current issues in crossing border.
The University always supports digital systems and tools which help to form the digital culture in both teachers and students. As digitals play important role in many functions all over the world such as the digital market, network, research, etc. digital culture need to be put into students to them for the future.
The aim of knowledge management on digital tools in teaching and learning is to promote the relationship between GE lecturers, to share perspectives, ideas, experience, information, and discover knowledge and method in using digital and technology in teaching and learning GE courses. The details are as follows:
As a tradition, Theodore Maria School of Arts organized research training on the topic, ‘Researching Teaching and Learning’ on Mon 15 May 2017 at John XXIII Conference Center, Suvarnabhumi Campus from 9.00- 16.00 hrs. Its aim was to support and enhance lecturers to conduct research and publish more academic works. This research training was required for all Arts lecturers. The guest speaker invited to impart and share knowledge was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pornapit Darasawang from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi.
On the whole, the training was well-received as Arts lecturers reported gaining practical ideas on new research methods that can be used in the field of language teaching, including inspiration to do research in the classroom. The guest speaker having long, worthwhile experience in conducting many forms of research clearly demonstrated how research methods could be applied to fit certain classroom situations. Several Arts lecturers got a chance to propose their research topics and they received useful comments and constructive feedback from the guest speaker. The atmosphere was dynamic and collaborative. Theodore Maria School of Arts will continue to organize this kind of research training as it indeed serves as a useful forum for Arts lecturers to strengthen their research skills.
Standardized Exam Preparation (IELTS)
For the IELTS course, we split the three sessions as follows
Session 2: Writing
Session 3: Listening/Speaking
Overall the students improved all four skills. However, many of them wanted four or five session classes as they felt that meeting up just three times was not enough for them to prepare for the actual exam. Another problem was that as it was a mixed ability classroom and students who were stronger in speaking skills felt held back, other weaker students felt pressured to keep up with the class pace.
The knowledge learned from this project is that when students are aware of the benefits of the course, they usually have high motivation in learning.